Monday, December 19, 2011

Ruby and Scarlet


Well, it's Christmas time and what better way to celebrate than with finishing up a few UFOs that have been hanging around for about 7 years now! The last time, my grandmother came to visit, I showed her some pieces that I had hand appliqued, beaded and sewn ribbon embroidery on. Her home is very vintage and she asked if she could have the only two pieces that were completely finished. But of course! They look fabulous in her home. Since then, she has been asking if I would finish some more pieces to add to her collection. These patterns are not my own design and try as I might, I can not find the designer to credit her properly. If anyone knows, please let me know. I would live to add that information here. Her patterns are wonderful. Meanwhile, as I had mentioned, all of these pieces are done entirely by hand. The difference between these two pieces and the ones that my grandmother already has in her collection is that I decided to finally let go of my purist attitude and need to complete the rest of the ladies by hand quilting them. This is a huge breakthrough for me


and a wonderful exercise in letting go. You see, I don't really like hand quilting. Rather I love and appreciate seeing hand quilting work by others. However, it is just not for me and I do not enjoy it! That said, I greatly admire those with the patience to do it! Still, if truth be told, these pieces would never get done if I held onto that need to be a purist! Ha! And so, I figure that I would give myself permission to finish these pieces by machine quilting which I vastly enjoy! And best of all, they will get to be seen and enjoyed rather than languishing in my closet. I decided to finish the two ladies dressed in red to celebrate the season. I love the way they have come out. My grandmother keeps asking me if I have had a chance to finish any more of the victorian lady pieces and I have pretended to not remember what she is talking about. I think she will be pleasantly surprised when I see her for the holidays or at least I hope so! Happy Holidays, everyone!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fiber Art Palm Trees

Fiber Art Palm Tree by Barb Forrister

I am so excited about finishing my newest palm tree sculpture. This is a take off from my other canopy trees in which I have opted to use lutradur and lace for the palm fronds. I first began by experimenting with different weights of lutradur, specifically light and heavy weight lutradur. Then to change things up a bit, I added some interfacing. I painted sheets of both lutradur and interfacing with acrylic textile paints and used Mistyfuse Transdoodle sheets to transfer the palm frond patterns onto the painted sheets.


In order to clearly see the stitching, I used heavy weight threads such as Madiera Supertwist, Wonderfil Dazzle and Superior Razzle Dazzle 8 wt thread in the bobbin to stitch the palm fronds. Laying a copper wire along the central vein of the leaf allowed for shaping and sculpting of the leaves. The copper wire was couched by hand using yarn all along the central vein.

The stems of the palm fronds were attached to the main tree and the copper wires were wrapped with yarns. The tree trunk is composed of PVC and was covered in lace to add texture. I have also added decorative lights to the trunk of the tree, thinking it would make a wonderful decorative night light. I also believe it would be a great addition for a room with a tropical theme decor!